This section is from the book "Sub-Alpine Plants Or Flowers Of The Swiss Woods And Meadows", by H. Stuart Thompson. Also available from Amazon: Sub-Alpine Plants: Or, Flowers of the Swiss Woods and Meadows.
Herbs or shrubs with alternate or opposite leaves, without stipules. Flowers or florets collected together into a head, surrounded by an involucre, the whole appearing like a single flower. The receptacle upon which the florets are inserted within the involucre is either naked or bears chaffy scales and hairs between the florets. In each floret the calyx is combined with the ovary, either completely so or only to appear at its summit as a short border, or more often as a pappus (or ring of feathery hairs). Corollas either all tubular or all ligulate, or the outer ones ligulate (ray florets) and the inner ones tubular (disk florets). Stamens 5 or rarely 4, inserted in the tube of the corolla. Anthers linear, and united in a sheath round the style. Ovary inferior, 1-celled, 1-ovuled. Stigmas 2. Fruit a small dry, seed-like nut, called an achene, either crowned by the pappus or naked.
The largest family, comprising about 12,000 species, and represented all over the globe, and in every kind of station.
The family is frequently subdivided into 2 sub-families:
Stem leafy. Leaves alternate, stalked. Capitula numerous, forming a leafless corymb. Involucre of a few leaves, arranged in a single row. Flowers all tubular, red or white. Seeds nearly terete, striated.
Stem 1-2 feet high, erect, striated. Leaves large, stalked, reniform-cordate, coarsely and unequally doubly dentate, slightly tomentose beneath. Leaf-stalks often auriculate at the base. Capitula 3-6 flowered, collected into corymbose umbels. Flowers rose-purple.
Mountain woods and Alpine and sub-alpine pastures; 3300-5500 feet; common, especially on limestone. July, August.
Sudetic Mountains, Riesengebirge, Eastern, Central and Western Alps; Jura, Vosges, Black Forest.
Stem erect, 1-3 feet high, slightly downy above, and often purple like the involucres, ending in a much-branched, umbellate, paniculate, corymbose inflorescence. Leaves nearly round, kidney-shaped, or roundly triangular, regularly dentate, glabrous or with scattered hairs above, the uppermost leaves often lanceolate, dentate, reticulately veined on under side, and the veins thickly coated with hairs. Capitula 2-6 flowered, tufted. Flowers pink or flesh-coloured.
Moist, shady Alpine or sub-alpine places up to 8ooo feet, and often descending to the valleys; limestone in preference.: June to September.
Eastern, Central, and Western Alps, Jura; Corsica.
Stem nearly leafless. Leaves mostly radical, stalked, round. Capitulum usually solitary; involucre and receptacle as in Adenostyles. Seeds furrowed, nearly cylindrical.
Rootstock creeping. Stem erect or ascending, simple, with a single capitulum, woolly like the leaf-stalks, with 2-4 distant scales. Leaves radical, appearing at same time as the flowers, stalked, cordate-orbicular or reniform, dentate, glabrous on upper side, under side green, not tomentose, hairy on veins beneath. Flowers light purple-red, rarely white.
Damp, shady places on the Alps and lower Alps, and in mountain woods; extending up to 9000 feet. May, June.
Carpathians; Eastern, Central, and Western Alps; Jura, Black Forest, Pyrenees.